Fast-food joints make it seem so easy: Pull up, order a colorfully packaged box (emblazoned with a smile, no less), and—poof!—dinner is served. But behind the relentless commercials, grinning clowns, and movie-themed toys lies a grim reality. Fast-food kids’ meals are junk.
And it’s no laughing matter. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years, according to the CDC. Yet we’re increasingly turning to these restaurants for meals: In 2011 the top 15 U.S. fast-food chains made a combined $115 billion in sales, reports Business Insider.
So what exactly are we feeding our kids? Click through to see some of the worst offenders. You might just decide to eat at home tonight.
Photo: Peter Cade/Getty Images
Wendy’s Cheeseburger with Fries Kids Meal
The girl on the logo looks friendly enough, but Wendy’s serves up 520 calories, 24 grams of fat, and 1,000 milligrams of sodium in their Cheeseburger Kids Meal with Fries.
Photo: Petrr/Creative Commons via Flickr
Jack in the Box Chicken Sandwich Kids Meal
Sorry, parents—chicken isn’t necessarily a healthy choice. The Chicken Sandwich with Curly Fries Kids Meal at Jack in the Box contains a jaw-dropping 610 calories, 32 grams of fat, 1,320 milligrams of sodium and 17 grams of protein.
Photo: TheImpulsivebuy/Creative Commons via Flickr
Burger King’s Cheeseburger Kids Meal
The home of the Whopper lives up to its billing: Burger King’s Cheeseburger Kids Meal contains 710 milligrams of sodium, 300 calories, 14 grams of fat and 16 grams of protein. (Though they do get a few points for offering apples with their children’s meals.)
Andrew Freeman is a California native with a degree in history from UCLA. He’s covered a wide range of topics for TakePart, but is particularly interested in politics and policy. Email Andrew |@natureofdabeast | TakePart.com